Intriguing ideas for new use of old school

The former Loughbrickland Primary School �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1519-219EB
The former Loughbrickland Primary School �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1519-219EB

A group of past pupils has been brainstorming ideas for the former Loughbrickland Primary School, as the building is set to be repurposed.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council would like to hear the views and ideas of local people on how the site could best be developed and have called a consultancy meeting today (Tuesday May 12), at the Gate Lodge, Loughbrickland House, between 3pm and 8pm.

The school building, which is situated by Loughbrickland Lake, was purchased by the council in 2008 and leased to the Southern Trust in 2012. The council is now looking at potential uses for when the current lease expires.

Momentum gathered on the council’s facebook page when Charlene Redhead tagged several friends who had attended or had links with the old primary school and said: “Give this a read. Let’s have a say about how we use it next.”

Angela Moffett replied: “What about an animal or wildlife park? Archery range? Some form of children’s play centre? Laser Quest? A floating cafe/bar? Some form of activity centre which the locals can enjoy and something that will bring people to the area.”

There was a strong feeling that the old school should be used for something connected with children and their development, as that would be a fitting tribute to its past.

Suzanne Ward said: “It definitely needs to be an activity centre for children and young people. The young people I work with love to explore outdoors and Belfast activity centre as they are fantastic facilities. I really hope they make proper use of what they have and not skimp on anything. There is so much potential.”

Ruth Moffett said: “If the lake is included it should be for everyone to enjoy.”

Suggestions also came in from other members of the public. Tom Williamson suggested a public boat launch to the lake, so it would be fishable during summer and Finola McConville said: “A comfort haven for special/additional needs kids”.

Landscape Architects MWA Partnership Ltd, who will be undertaking the consultation on behalf of the council, are keen to hear views from local people.

A council spokesperson said: “No appointment is required just come along between 3pm and 8pm and help us to shape the future of council provision”.